Home Online poker It’s official! Michigan joins the Interstate Online Poker Compact

It’s official! Michigan joins the Interstate Online Poker Compact

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I’m happy to announce that Michigan has joined the Multistate Poker Pact, and a large portion of the increased tax revenue from Multistate Poker will go to support K-12 education in Michigan.It’s a big day for Michigan online poker.

Mitten State signed the Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA)formalizing Michigan’s entry into the interstate gambling pact with Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey.

The addition of Michigan means the player pool of the compact almost doubles — Michigan is the tenth-largest state in terms of population (10.1 million). MSIGA will now have a combined population of 23.5 million people with which to draw shared liquidity to support online poker.

“I am pleased to announce that Michigan has joined the Multistate Poker Pact, and a large portion of the increased tax revenue from Multistate Poker will go to support K-12 education in Michigan” , Henry Williams, Executive Director of Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), said in a statement Monday. “By joining us, Michigan will nearly double the potential pool of participants in multi-state poker games.”

SB 991, a bill sponsored by Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-East Lansing) and eventually signed into law by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2020, included verbiage that said the MGCB could make deals for multi-jurisdictional poker.

“Poker players in Michigan will have more options and likely play for more money when they can compete against players from other states,” Hertel said. “I’m glad we were able to make this possible for poker players in Michigan.”

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MI Online Poker operators have work to do

Michigan’s online poker operators — BetMGM Poker MI, PokerStars MI and WSOP MI — must go through several steps to obtain authorization from the MGCB before letting their players into the shared player pool. The requirements were set out in a five-page guidance document the regulator released in March.

The requirements require that the three operators:

  • Meet all the conditions and requirements described in the MSIGA deal
  • Receive approval from MGCB for any new platform or modification of platform, as well as any new remote game system and game software
  • Have their technical security standards reviewed and inspected for new data centers – the MGCB must give written approval for servers capable of receiving bets placed outside of Michigan

the MGCB must ensure that Michigan residents are protected when playing multi-state poker and we will apply the same rigor to reviewing the new offering as we have other internet games.the MGCB added that new vendors, including platform vendors, that will play a role in the multi-state poker offering must obtain internet gaming vendor licenses from the agency. New suppliers may also be required to register with the MGCB. The regulator said new operator or platform provider employees involved in multi-state poker may also need to obtain professional licenses from the MGCB.

“Operators still have work to do before Michigan residents can join multi-state poker games,” Williams said. “The MGCB must ensure that Michigan residents are protected when playing multi-state poker and we will apply the same rigor to reviewing the new offering as we have other internet games.

last April, MGCB Spokeswoman Mary Kay Bean said the regulator declined to comment on how long the approval process is expected to take, or whether operators would be approved one after the other or in tandem.

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‘More states’ could join MSIGAbut probably limited to PA (for now)

Monday’s announcement included the statement that “although the agreement is currently limited to four states, it is possible that other states may join.”

There are currently three other US states that have legalized online poker but are not yet part of it. MSIGA — Connecticut, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Pennsylvania is often mentioned as a possible MSIGA member and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s press secretary said Pennsylvania Gaming Review last month that the state is monitoring the pact’s expansion.

Pennsylvania is also the fifth-largest US state in terms of population, with nearly 13 million people. If the Keystone State joins MSIGAthe player pool could reach 42.5 million.

The path Connecticut and West Virginia must follow to join the pact is a bit more complicated. Both states have smaller populations — 3.6 million in Connecticut and 1.8 million in West Virginia. Their small populations also explain why neither state has an active poker operator.

Although Connecticut legalized online poker in May 2021, the gambling regime does not include verbiage that would allow the state to join a pact like MSIGA. To complicate matters further, the two CT tribal casinos have chosen to partner with DraftKings and FanDuel, two operators that do not use a poker platform.

Despite a groundbreaking partnership announced last month in Ontario that involves two Flutter brands — under which PokerStars would offer online poker and casino games in the province while FanDuel would offer sports betting — a head of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (CDCP) said state gaming laws would not permit such an arrangement in that state.

the West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC) revealed last summer that he was interested in joining a compact like MSIGA for poker.